LaDuke, Winona. All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life. Haymarket Books (Reissue edition), 2015. 256 pages. Paperback, $19.00.
Winona LaDuke (Minnesota Ojibwe) is a prominent indigenous environmental activist and scholar, perhaps most famous as Ralph Nader's vice presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket in the years 1996 and 2000. This is a reissue edition of her iconic 1999 book, which was a bellwether for many subsequent trends at the intersection of environmentalism and indigenism, anticipating the millennial renewal of radical leftist environmentalism and the Native American civil rights struggle in American politics. More than a decade before such language became mainstream (largely as a consequence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, circa 2011) LaDuke bemoaned the detrimental ecological and cultural impact of "that 1 percent of the U.S. population that controls an estimated 50 percent of the country's wealth" (p. 70).
I had the honor of attending LaDuke's engaging lecture on environmental justice at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture in Gainesville, Florida in January 2016, and I recognized that the themes of this book are still relevant more than fifteen years later. As Executive Director of Honor the Earth (an indigenous environmentalist advocacy organization), LaDuke has been directly involved in several of the most visible native and environmentalist protest movements over the last few years (e.g. coordinating the public opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline project, among others), and is arguably the most distinguished spokesperson for a unified traditionalist indigenous political front against the large industrial enterprises on Native lands in northern North America, which too often exploit and do not benefit the native custodians of these lands. This book similarly addresses many themes related to transnational energy policy, advocating for a traditionalist-indigenous alliance with radical environmentalist opposition to globalization and environmentally destructive energy policies, especially in the U.S.-Canada border regions.
This reissue edition was conceived by Haymarket Press (a publisher devoted to contemporary social justice activism) in the light of the present extreme urgency surrounding these issues of climate justice and with the object of continuing to build bridges across the seemingly disparate constituencies of the contemporary Left. I...